Breast cancer surgery, led by a Surgical Oncologist, is a pivotal component in the comprehensive management of breast cancer. The primary goal is to remove cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the breast as possible, promoting both oncological efficacy and aesthetic outcomes. Different surgical options exist, tailored to the stage and characteristics of the cancer.
Lumpectomy (Breast-Conserving Surgery):
Lumpectomy involves removing the tumor and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue, sparing the majority of the breast. It is often followed by radiation therapy to eradicate any remaining cancer cells.
Mastectomy entails the complete removal of the breast tissue. There are variations, such as total mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed, and modified radical mastectomy, which includes removal of the breast tissue along with some lymph nodes.
Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy:
Surgical Oncologists may perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy to assess whether cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. This targeted approach reduces the extent of lymph node dissection.
Axillary Lymph Node Dissection:
In cases where cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, a Surgical Oncologist may conduct an axillary lymph node dissection to remove affected nodes, aiding in cancer staging.
Collaborating with plastic surgeons, Surgical Oncologists contribute to breast reconstruction post-mastectomy, addressing patients’ physical and emotional well-being.
This innovative approach combines oncologic surgery with plastic surgery techniques, aiming to achieve optimal cancer removal while preserving breast appearance and symmetry.
The Surgical Oncologist’s role extends beyond the operating room. They actively participate in preoperative consultations, educating patients about surgical options and potential outcomes. Postoperatively, they oversee recovery, ensuring appropriate follow-up care and collaborating with oncologists and other specialists for comprehensive cancer management.
In conclusion, the role of a Surgical Oncologist in breast cancer surgery is multifaceted, encompassing precise tumor removal, lymph node evaluation, and a commitment to restoring both physical and emotional well-being for individuals facing breast cancer. Their expertise is integral to the personalized and holistic care provided to each patient.